Century is due to publish the first Minecraft fiction books this summer.
The series will launch with the first stand-alone novel Minecraft: Islandwritten by Max Brooks, author of World War Z (Gerald Duckworth & Co).
Ben Brusey, Associate Publisher at Century, acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights from Denise Cronin, VP and Director of Rights at Random House. Del Rey will publish the Minecraft novels in the United States.
Each novel in the series will immerse the reader in the “richly imagined” world of Minecraft, which has been played by over 100 million people worldwide. Minecraft games are developed by Swedish video game developer and publisher Mojang.
Egmont publishes the non-fiction Minecraft series in the UK.
In the tradition of stories like Robinson Crusoe and treasure island, Minecraft: Island tells the story of a new hero stranded in the world of Minecraft, who must survive in a hostile and unknown environment and unlock the secrets of the island.
Launching this summer will be one of Century’s top fiction releases of the year. A “grand” pre-awareness and cross-platform advertising and consumer campaign will reach Minecraft fans worldwide, with retail advertising and merchandising planned to reach the widest readership and range of outlets of the market.
Brooks said, “I’m very excited to be a part of this new company. Finally, I can justify all those hours I’ve spent playing Minecraft.”
Lydia Winters, Mojang Brand Manager, said, “From our first meeting with Max, we knew he would be a perfect fit for our first foray into Minecraft-based novels. His enthusiasm and understanding of all things gaming bring out the sense of wonder and possibility that so many players love about Minecraft – us included.”
Brusey said the publisher is “absolutely thrilled” to partner with Mojang to publish the Minecraft novels. “Gaming is a cultural phenomenon, and the reach of this new series is just huge,” he said. “These novels will delight anyone who loves the game and, for the first time in fictional form, will also bring Minecraft to the widest possible readership. Having someone of Max’s incredible talent and passion on board for the first standalone novel in the series is a dream couple and we are honored to publish it. This summer will be a major fictional event and Minecraft fans and new readers alike will be thrilled!”
Egmont’s Minecraft series was launched in 2013 with four manuals: The Official Beginner’s Handbook, The Official Redstone Handbook, The official construction manual and The official combat manual. Blockopedia followed in December 2014, with the four books selling eight million copies worldwide, according to the publisher. Last year he published Minecraft: Book of Survivor Secrets in June (hardcover, £5.99), and Minecraft: Exploded Constructions: Medieval Fortress in October (hardcover, £12.99).